Cracked Teeth – Why?

June 2, 2015

One of the common problems we see as dentists is cracked teeth.  Any tooth can fracture, just like driving a truck over pavement enough times can crack the pavement, but the most commo reason is from the weaknesses caused by drilling and filling teeth.  Large amalgam fillings are like a lump of soft lead in a crystal glass, slowly creeping and expanding over the years until the tooth cracks apart.




While most cracks are horizontal and a cusp cracks of the tooth, a large number are vertical cracks extending into the nerve of the tooth and splitting the root in half.

Cracked tooth Cracked tooth 2 Root Treatment fracture-web-2 fracture-web-1

It is best to replace any metal fillings if any sign of cracking is evident, but replacement with tooth coloured fillings may not be strong enough.


The tooth should be supported with a full coverage of porcelain, or the best alternative which is gold.  The porcelain has a higher strength than plastic fillings but can still crack.  The gold will wear at the same rate as your own teeth and will not break but there is a cosmetic compromise.

4Porc Onlay Fracture 3 4Porc Onlay Fracture 5 4Porc Onlay Fracture 7 tamc2 DSC_0125

Talk to your dentist about which option is most suitable for you.


Tooth Trauma

June 13, 2008

Just another routine day in the dental office.  I thought I would quickly post these photos which show a young fellow who fell over a concrete ledge.  The teeth may or may not end up with major consequences – fortunately mum saw the cracks and brought him straight in for an X-ray and check.  See how the enamel is like shattered glass.  The inside of the tooth is flexible and has stopped the cracks running right through.  I have a small chip on one of my teeth which hasn’t changed for 15 years but another patient of mine ended up with the tooth dying and needing root canal treatment.  This was from a small simple fall so it just reinforces why it is so important to wear a custom fitting mouthguard during sports.